Administration drops secrecy posture on small business aid

Marcy Gordon
AP Business Writer

Washington — The Trump administration has abruptly dropped its insistence on secrecy for a $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program for small businesses.

The administration announced Friday it will publicly disclose the names of recipients of the taxpayer-funded loans, the amounts they received in ranges and demographic data on the businesses.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

The unexpected move came after Democratic lawmakers, government watchdogs, ethics advocates and news organizations called for the administration to make the information public.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to do so at a Senate hearing last week, saying the data was “proprietary information.”

Mnuchin said in a statement Friday that the new position resulted from a bipartisan agreement with leaders of the Senate Small Business Committee.